8 Steps to Changing Yourself: Part 5

Welcome to this fifth article in a series of 8 on managing personal change. if you’ve been looking to make personal change in your life you’re in exactly the right place.

I’ve been taking as our template the work of John Kotter (the first post on personal change is here which will explain further. In brief we’re looking at one of the most respected books on organisational change and applying the concept to ourselves. So far it’s working so stay with me on this one!

Kotters’s number 5 in his 8 steps is empowering broad based action. This is what he recommends organisations do:

  • Getting rid of obstacles
  • Changing systems or structures that undermine the change vision
  • Encouraging risk taking and non-traditional ideas, activities, and actions

And that’s exactly what I’m suggesting to you! What are the obstacles in your path which might derail you from achieving your aim? We’ve already talked about drains and radiators and identifying those friends and supporters who will help as well as the detractors who might have a vested interest in your failure. They will certainly be one obstacle.

Equally you may have a whole cupboard of obstacles of your own making, like habits. It could be a good moment to buy yourself a book like Flex (reviewed here) which will encourage you to do something different. Habit often sustains us in behaviour that’s not helpful. To change a habit successfully you usually need to replace it with something else. What habits (or non-traditional ideas, activities, and actions as per Kotter) do you need to acquire to help you reach your goals?

In order to change your habits you may have to ‘change structures and systems’ that you have in place. Having identified what you’d like to change take a few moments to consider what systems you have in place that encourage that behaviour? (Check this out-When Did You Last Put Your Toe in the Water?) It might be that you always sit down in front of a particular programme and eat crisps. Try not watching that programme for a few weeks until you’ve broken the habit, or recording it and watching while doing something else!

Risk. You have decided to it’s time to make a change so you must be a bit of a risk taker! People who are risk averse hate change; better the devil they know than try something new. I’m with the person who said:

“It’s much better to regret something you have done, than something you haven’t.”

Part 6 is here.

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Posted on October 24th, 2012 by

One Response to “8 Steps to Changing Yourself: Part 5”

  1. Mine I would say is routine. If I stick to a routine with certain things I can be more flexible at other times of the day. I find going to the gym or going for coffee with a friend can re-ignite my thinking and productiveness.

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